Help with Excessive Gas from Ileostomy?



Does anyone have any suggestions about gas from an ileostomy? It's a big problem of mine. It can't be the food I eat as I am still on a low fiber diet and do not eat any of the big gas offenders.

My bag fills up with gas between every empty, making my bag noisier when I move and less hideable as it gets bigger. All the pics of people I see with bags on, it is completely flat. Mine never is lol.

In the morning, my bag is like a blimp! Rock solid full of air and close to exploding. I sometimes have to get up at 3am to empty the gas.

Is there any advice out there at all?

Thanks in advance


This is common enough - you can degas the bag by opening it and letting the gas out then go back to sleep -- best not to let it get quite so hard -- may burst the bond!!

I learned to eat a lot of real (not processed) cheese, crackers, smooth peanut butter, and milk (for some that is not ok) and it got better as I had the bag awhile -- The bag wakes me every 3-4 hours at night and I have gotten used to the trip to the bathroom. After 8 or 9 months I ate a lot of freshly popped popcorn with real butter and that helped a lot to prevent food cravings and non-gassy bag. I am only 13 months out and dealing with it -- I agree it is a nuisance issue.

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Most people with any type of ostomy would warn against popcorn, especially large quantities. Popcorn is a major cause of obstructions. Do you use any anti-gas products? Gas X and Phazyme are good ones. It seems like it takes a while after surgery for things to adjust. In time, the gas and the pain will subside. I remember having pain for so long that I thought it was abnormal. My surgeon assured me that it isn't.
Hang in there!



I won't be eating popcorn lol. No, no anti-gas products, didn't know there were any. My nurses just say to live with it lol. Are they available in the UK?

My big problem right now is my output and an itchy rash I keep getting every day (which goes overnight) on legs and hands lol.

Thanks for the help.

Past Member

Hi Scord,

I use Hollister's bags. They work well for me. Can you ask for free samples? Just try it:

Customer Services freephone: 0800 521377

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I can't say for sure if you can get Gas-X/Phazyme in the UK. You just need to look for a product which contains Simethicone. Sounds like you are having an allergic reaction to something. I'd take Benadryl and let my doctor know pretty quickly.


I have found that carbs are a culprit for me. Pasta, rice, bread, or cakes. Also, veggies have gas-producing properties as well. Chinese food kills me... gee, so what can I eat... lots of lean proteins, very little soda, beer, etc... lots of water and oh yeah... Jack Daniels sits well with me.

Past Member

Gas-X and similar products don't reduce gas, they are simply anti-foaming agents to make gas pass more easily.

If you aren't able to control it through dietary changes, then you should consider looking for a pouch with a better filter and/or use something like the Osto EZ-vent, which allows you to purge gas from your pouch whenever you like (it does not have odor control though, so it's like passing gas).


I am in exactly the same situation. Sometimes it pops off, it is so hard and filled with gas. I generally get up 3 times a night to empty it. Any help will be appreciated.


I am in exactly the same situation. Sometimes it pops off, it is so hard and filled with gas. I generally get up 3 times a night to empty it. Any help will be appreciated.

Van guy

Almost fifteen years ago, after a major flare of Crohn's that put me in the hospital, I suddenly had terrible gas every day. Stinky, uncomfortable, embarrassing gas. At the suggestion of a friend, I tried eliminating wheat - and the gas stopped - 90% gone - within hours. Because of that experience, I'm an advocate of experimenting with diet. That was before my ostomy. Now with my bag, when I eat wheat by mistake, I risk a pop-off during the night (yes, it's happened more than once), so I don't take chances with uncertain foods late in the day. Besides wheat, I've identified a couple of other foods that make me gassy, but more so if I'm low energy or sick. I love avocados but, well, I can have them at lunch sometimes.

Life is very, very good with my bag - so much better than the previous 20 years - and watching and experimenting with what I eat is part of what makes my life so rich these days. If you have a gas problem, I suggest trying an elimination diet, and especially trying to eliminate 100% of the wheat in your diet. It didn't cure or even help my Crohn's, but man, what a difference for my gas problem! What have you got to lose?


In Canada, we use a product called Bean-O. I use this when dining out and want to lessen the chance of gas happening. Gas can also be created by not eating, so make sure you do not skip meals. Foods that increase gas are beans, beer, soda, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, mushrooms, peas, radishes, spinach, and dairy products. But everyone is different and has different triggers. Eating an earlier supper will also allow you to release some of the gas before going to bed. Also, you can try just burping the bag throughout the day. I get up at least once a night to empty, sometimes twice if I have indulged in a gaseous supper/snack. This is my new norm as an ileostomate. :)


Hi Scord. I just sent you a note a moment ago.

You will find that these topics require time to experience what works and what doesn't. The gas problem was there before your surgery but you were better able to deal with it. I'm 20+ years with my colostomy and I'm still getting up through the night.

I've had bad experiences with "vents" in the appliances. I started with Convatec and I'm now with Hollister. A couple of months ago, the Hollister ET sent me samples of their latest filtered vent appliance but it was so well filtered that it simply didn't release the gas. I still had to "burp" the appliance. The earlier versions would actually soak up the waste in the pouch and pretty soon I'd notice a smell around me.

Get some free samples from your supplier in order to gauge your own experience.

Also, the later you eat at night, the more likely you'll be dealing with output in bed, so, a few comments: avoid large meals, late in the evening; avoid/minimize rich foods (which probably gave you grief before the surgery); chew everything VERY well (my first post-op experience with mushrooms made for a very interesting viewing in a public washroom).

Popcorn is very difficult for ostomates as it causes blockages. When you experience your first blockage, you will remember it for some time. So, I strongly suggest you avoid the foods which you know will block your system. If you feel the need, small amounts ...


Simethicone and watching foods can help. Also, being careful to eat slowly and chew well so you don't swallow air (which obviously has to end up going somewhere) can help. Ultimately, we all make gas, so the real problem is the failure of the air vent in the pouch. It probably works great right after changing, but it gets fouled with output very quickly. I have found that Coloplast pouches will still vent even when the filter is covered. Try them or other brands - they all offer free samples. The Osto-Ez-Vent is worth a try, and Coloplast used to make a vent that you could add to a pouch while it was attached in case the regular vent was fouled.

Using a two-piece system where you replace just the pouch whenever the vent gets fouled might also be helpful.


Hi! There are other things that can cause gas besides food. For example, drinking through a straw or even a bottle sometimes. Chewing gum. Chewing with your mouth open or just swallowing air. Drinking soda or anything else with carbonation. Eating too rapidly without chewing enough... you really have to chew very slowly and many times. Pouches with filters can be actually worse than the ones without because once the filter gets wet, it not only doesn't work but gas can sometimes escape. The ones without filters can be used with Osto-Ez-Vents that you can use to control the amount of gas build-up. Just try to remember to go vent in the bathroom.


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